Accolades keep piling up for Salem’s educators

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By Sam Wall

David Preston (right) presents Dr. Alan Seibert with a certificate for his achievement of being named Virginia’s Curriculum Leader of the Year. Photo by Sam Wall.
David Preston (right) presents Dr. Alan Seibert with a certificate for his achievement of being named Virginia’s Curriculum Leader of the Year. Photo by Sam Wall.
Employees of Salem City Schools have long been accustomed to receiving awards and certifications, and now there are two more names to add to the list: Superintendent Dr. Alan Seibert and East Salem Elementary teacher, Kelly Rowland.

The two were recognized at Tuesday night’s school board meeting for their excellence and commitment to the education of Salem’s children.

The Virginia Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development named Dr. Seibert the Virginia’s Curriculum Leader of the Year. The announcement was made Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Doubletree Hotel in Williamsburg, the site of the organization’s annual conference.

Seibert, who is now in his 10th year as superintendent, has worked his way up the ladder of Salem City Schools since starting out as a student teacher at the high school 25 years ago.

According to Salem High Principal Scott Habeeb, this award was a “longtime coming” for the educator who is well respected throughout the state, especially in regards to his work over the years in technology, testing, curriculum and instruction and special education.

Seibert is also credited with helping the Salem School Division receive over $2 million in state and federal grants that have been used to work on student assessment, teacher compensation and physical fitness.

In addition to his duties as superintendent, he currently serves as a member of and a sub-committee chairman for the Governor’s SOL Innovation Committee, and formally served as president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.

David Preston presents Kelly Rowland with a certificate for her achievement for being nationally certified in reading-language for early and middle childhood. Photo by Sam Wall.
David Preston presents Kelly Rowland with a certificate for her achievement for being nationally certified in reading-language for early and middle childhood. Photo by Sam Wall.
East Salem’s Kelly Rowland was recognized for receiving National Board Certification in reading-language for early and middle childhood.

According to Kirstine Barber, who is the supervisor of human resources for Salem’s school division, the certification is a collaborative effort between the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the nation’s states and localities.

Barber went on to explain that in order to be considered for certification, teachers must submit a series of performance-based assessments that included teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching and student learning.

Rowland’s is the 25th teacher at Salem who has received this certification.

In addition to recognizing aforementioned for their outstanding achievements, the board also voted in favor of adding new classes to the 2016-17 SHS course catalog.

Manufacturing systems; introduction to computer science, 18 and 36-week courses; AP computer science principles and Chinese 2, 3 and 4 are the classes that will be approved. Whether or not the courses are actually offered will be contingent on the basis that sufficient enrollment is met and that qualified staff is available to teach those courses.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan.12 at 7 p.m.